Monday, May 14, 2007


The problem that arises when you live with pets who are an integral part of the family is that it hurts so damn much when they die.

Sidney is slowing down, his muzzle whiter every time I see him. I'd been thinking about what Karen and Jim would go through when he eventually goes the way of all life, and decided they should get a puppy before then. I'd already found a dobie rescue in Northern California and tucked it away.

Coincidental to my musings on this matter, Karen and Jim had been talking about it, too, and had pretty much decided to get a puppy, too.

It isn't that getting another dog will make it okay when Sidney goes, but maybe it will hurt just a weensy bit less. Maybe. God, I hate to think about it and Sid isn't even my dog!

Knowing how busy Karen always is, I decided to help her out, so I went to and started searching for dobies with natural ears in the region. I emailed several to her, those who get along well with children, other dogs, and cats. (Funny how "duly respectful of large lizards" wasn't one of the traits the various rescues and shelters listed...)

There was a pair of pups, littermates, a black and a red dobie, five months old. They had been through several homes in their short lives. Karen and the rescue folks emailed back and forth at some length over the period of a week or two.

Last week, the red female was brought to the Vacaville branch of the rescue last Monday, spayed and microchipped on Tuesday, and coming home with us (well, of course Sidney and I had to go, too, to check out the pup and let her check us out) by week's end.

Originally named Gretel, which suited her not at all, she is friendly, great with kids, great with adults, great with car rides, learning to feel comfortable and explore the back yard (she apparently wasn't let out very much), a little nervous at the airport yet, and totally knows what the toy box is all about!

Here is the newly renamed Ginger and Sidney at a nearby park. Karen linked their leashes together so that she wouldn't be able to run off without dragging Sidney with her. Since Sidney outweighs her by 60 pounds, that so ain't gonna happen. Sidney can always be brought back to us by our uttering the magic word (c-o-o-k-i-e), so we weren't worried at all.

In fact, the only time of concern was when she leapt up onto the picnic table and grabbed a bone-in chicken thigh off my plate. Karen held her jaws agape (er, that would be Karen holding Ginger's jaws agape) while I reached own her throat and removed the thigh.

(Not wanting to reward her, but hating to throw it away, I, uhm, pulled the meat off the bone and gave it to Sidney.)

Here is a shot of Ginger in her favorite place: in someone's lap! Yes, yes, we know, bad idea to encourage behaviors that are cute at 50 pounds, but downright uncomfortable at 110 pounds.

Karen & Jim are using a crate to work on potty training. The report I got last night was that Sunday was an accident free day. I'm awaiting a report about today.

A closing shot of Sidney and Ginger with a couple of kids were enjoying the dogs far more than they were the adults milling around talking about graffiti abatement.

Oh! Yes, Ginger has met Mikey, though I can't say the opposite is true.

Karen and Ginger drove me home the night Ginger came home with us. We let Ginger out into my backyard to explore and hopefully pee. Karen and I were in my side yard when he heard a huffing and whining. Neighbordog Georgia was on the other side of the fence, scenting Ginger and trying to get a look at her in the slivers of space between the fence slats. Eventually, we migrated down towards the front yard where Georgia and Ginger were finally able to see one another by climbing things on either side of the fence. Ginger bopped her paw on Georgia's head, something that didn't seem to bother Georgia at all (though Georgia did hold me up for leftover chicken and a tennis ball the next day, so what they say about payback being a bitch is apparently true).

Anyway, Mike was asleep when Karen and Ginger brought me home. After meeting Georgia and chatting with her owners, Karen and I went into Mike's room and sat down, talking while he slept. Ginger was nervous at first about poking her way through the plastic drop cloth that I have hanging from the ceiling between the ig/breakfast room and kitchen to keep the heat in the ig room, but her curiosity overcame her trepidation, and in she came. When she finally saw Mikey, she gave his snout a lick, bounced back to Karen, and bounced out of the room back into the kitchen, there just being too much far more interesting stuff to see and smell and taste and maybe there's a ball! or a cookie!

Okay, enough of the puppy stuff for now, other than to say, if you are looking to get a dog or cat that needs a home, go check out the rescues and shelters. If you are looking for a doberman or greyhound, contact DogWorks Canine Rescue in the Central and Northern California area, and the far too many other dobies, greyhounds and every other purebred and mutt imaginable listed on

Here's a great photo of both dogs, taken by Karen a couple of weeks ago:

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